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Showing posts from September, 2014

What Your Halloween Candy Says About Your Workplace Personality

Our annual fructose candyfest is in high swing, and retailers are desperate to move out Halloween merchandise to make way for Christmas.So let's not waste any more time discussing the most pressing workplace issue of the day: What does our favorite workplace Halloween candy say about us? Here's a list of favorite Halloween candy choices and what they say about our workplace personality:Hershey's Kisses. Who doesn't like Hershey's Kisses? Put out a bag, and they're gone within minutes. As an employee, you tend to be the office idealist, the employee who sees a better way to do just about anything. You're charming, and able to diffuse office arguments with a simple comment and an unforgettable smile. If two co-workers start to bicker, then you whip out a bag of Kisses from a desk drawer and suddenly these co-workers are kissing and making up (figuratively speaking, of course, this is a workplace). We couldn't do our jobs without you!Mini chocolate bars. L…

Is Seattle's New Food Waste Fine A Load Of Garbage?

As my mother used to say: "Waste not, want not." If you're a company manager employed in Seattle, then you might soon find yourself telling employees: "Fine not, want not." The Seattle City Council has passed an ordinance that could fine businesses that put too much food in the trash. That's right: Too much food waste can be a fine-able offense in the fine Emerald City! As The Seattle Times reports:Under the new rules, collectors can take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck. If they see compostable items make up 10 percent or more of the trash, they’ll enter the violation into a computer system their trucks already carry, and will leave a ticket on the garbage bin that says to expect a $1 fine on the next garbage bill. According to the story, apartment complexes and businesses with get two warnings before they're fined. Okay, a $1 fine isn't that much, but the fine jumps to $50 after the third violation. We know how much…

Is A Co-worker Quietly Stealing Your Work Space?

It's no secret that the Great Recession has downsized the average office space in addition to shrinking the number of available good jobs. The question for employees navigating today's trendy, open office environments is: Why does my co-worker keep putting all of her crap in my work area? Let's talk about the office space hog! Work space has become a commodity, and eventually we'll work alongside the real-estate-grabbing co-worker. As we work hard to keep our elbows to ourselves, this co-worker is pondering innovative, disruptive ways to "incorporate" more of our work area into his or her work area. Work space mission creep usually starts very innocently. One day, the new co-worker sitting next to you might ask with a big smile: "Is it all right if I set my work bag next to your chair for a bit?" Being the nice person you are, you respond: "Sure, go ahead." Skip ahead six months to a year, where everything from invoices to coats, shopp…

Only 30% Of Employees Trust Employers To Manage BYOD

Here's a quick question for you: Would your rather entrust your employer to manage your BYOD mobile devices, or a third-party? A new AdaptiveMobile survey of more than 5,000 employees in 19 countries reveals that many employees do not want employers managing their BYOD connections, security and privacy. No way, no how, not ever, no thanks. Wow. This song takes me right back to the mid-1990s, when "BYOD" meant nothing more than Bring Your Own Drink and any website took five minutes to download over a dial-up modem. It was a simpler time. Now we have to worry about Bring Your Own Devices and everything that comes with it. As HelpNet Security reports:The research found that while over 84 percent of employees rated privacy as a top three concern, there was a clear lack of trust in the ability of their employer to manage their mobile security and privacy, posing mobile service providers with an opportunity to address end-users security concerns. For those employees alread…

OSHA To Put More Workplace Safety Data Online In 2015

Attention, employers: More on-the-clock workplace injuries are about to go online. Under current OSHA rules, companies must report within 24 hours whenever three or more employees require hospitalization as a result of a workplace injury. Starting in January 2015, however, companies will be required to report each individual employee injury that requires hospitalization, which presumably means that previously unreported injuries will now be reported. Companies will also be required to report instances of employee amputation and eye loss within 24 hours. The data will be available online in the form of future OSHA safety reports. It's safe to say that some business groups don't like the impending changes very much. It'll be interesting to see how this rule change impacts legal cases filed on behalf of injured employees, and if it has any affect on internet-savvy job applicants in the age of the online customer review. Will Yelp-using job applicants start factoring thi…

Beep, Bleep! Which U.S. State Has the Rudest Drivers?

So there you are, stuck on the inner loop during morning rush hour and the whole thing is starting to drive you a little bit loopy. Where do all these rude drivers come from, and where are they going?! If you feel like your morning commute is on a road to nowhere as another driver swerves into your lane to cut you off two inches from your bumper without even signaling (I'm looking at you, Maryland!), then you might have concluded that the drivers in your area are the rudest of any drivers, anywhere. Now Insure.com is here to back you up with a new survey of 2,000 licensed drivers (half men, half women, no "woman driver" jokes, please) that ranks the 50 states in terms of rudest drivers, but it doesn't stop there! No, it also reveals which out-of-state plate the drivers in your state most hate. Let's try to parallel park this blog post until we get frustrated and decide to find a parking garage instead! So which states have the rudest drivers, who, by natural…

Study Finds Your Home Life Is Stressing You Out At Work

Work got you down lately? New research finds your home life might be affecting your work more than you think. Researchers at Canada's Concordia University and the University of Montreal queried nearly 2,000 employees at more than 60 workplaces regarding workplace stressors such as unpaid overtime, crummy co-workers, bad bosses, and constant deadline pressure. Just for fun, they threw in a look at employees' home life to see what, if any, impact it was having on their level of work stress, general ability to work, and overall mental health. This look at home life included gauging prenatal status (presumably, whether or not kids were in the picture), self-esteem issues, and overall physical health. Then the researchers compared both sides of the workplace coin, and, well, here's the official press release's two cents about it:Turns out mental health in the workplace doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's deeply affected by the rest of a person's day-to-day life, …

Selfie Reflection: Generation X's Live, Online Midlife Crisis

Are you a Gen Xer in the middle of a midlife crisis on social media? Oh, come on. Don't be shy! We talk a lot about the Millennial generation and technology use. One thing we're not talking about yet, however, is Generation X's live, online midlife crisis. Yes, the "slacker" generation of 40 and early 50-somethings now discovering anti-wrinkle creams and ear hair is the first, full perimenopausal/Low T generation in the history of mankind to chronicle a midlife crisis from beginning to end over social media. Sorry to break it to you, Baby Boomers, but you're not the first at something this time. When it comes to taking a midlife crisis by the hand and walking it squarely into the middle of an online, public forum and letting it wallow there, Generation X wins the blue ribbon. Sure, the youngest Baby Boomers may have proudly posted a photo of their new, red convertible on Facebook before we did (today's 40-something will go with a compact SUV in a mute…

Want Happier Employees? Let Them Make Up A Job Title

Do you fancy yourself as a Captain Fancypants Of Finance? No? Well, if you did, then a new study finds you might feel better about your job in accounts receivable!Job titles are to employees like words are to dictionaries. They define us and give us meaning. And ever since we went from holding "a job" in the 1960s to plotting out "a career" since the 1980s, job titles have taken on a lot of meaning. In recent years, job titles have gotten more personal. Or should I say, more personalized. A new study of "self-appointed job titles" in last month's Academy of Management Journal concludes that employees who get to make up their own job titles can enhance their own workplace well-being. What's in a name, indeed. Some companies are letting employees get very creative. Google has a "Captain Of Moonshots," whatever that is (and quite frankly, I'm a little bit scared to know). Berkshire Hathaway apparently has a "Director Of Chaos.&…

Wednesday Workplace News Round-up

I haven't done a workplace news round-up in quite awhile, and today seems like a good day for one. Here's a quick round up of trending workplace news stories making headlines today. Viruses, the germy kind, can spread through an entire workplace in only four hours. Have you had your flu shot yet? Is time already running out on the new Apple iWatch? Many people live to work, but some Google employees apparently live at work. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is more fun when done with 149 of your nearest, dearest co-workers. Brrr! The happiest employees have some weird habits, such as leaving work early and remaining grateful on the job. And you wonder why your co-worker looks so happy leaving 15 minutes early again! Being a newly-hired office secretary/admin assistant now requires a BA degree."Podtels" are coming to the workplace. A new CareerBuilder survey finds only one-third of employees would like to be the boss. BYOD at work is turning into "where did al…

C++ Suite: Bosses Prefer New Gadgets Over New Hires

A new survey finds 46% of U.S. business executives would like to hire only part-time employees in the future, and they would rather invest in new technology than in new employees. Oh man, is it the weekend yet? The survey, which queried nearly 2,000 Harvard Business School graduates, reveals that nearly half of them just aren't that into new hires anymore. Nearly half (49%) would rather outsource the work to someone/something/somewhere else, and why can't they find any skilled American job applicants when they do decide to hire someone full-time? Even our co-workers would rather work with a robot than with us.This mindset could eventually lead to bigger problems. Specifically, how will the average, underemployed American of the future be able to afford these companies' latest offerings? Disposable income is totally awesome! Isn't anyone at Harvard Business School thinking about the business cycle from beginning to end anymore? I mean, Christmas spending comes only onc…

Administrative Assistants Get Weird Requests At Work

What's the weirdest thing you've been asked to do at work? Whatever it is, the administrative assistant has probably got you beat. Ah, yes. The office administrative assistant. The employee otherwise known as "hey, you" who is tasked with handling odd, last-minute requests that become last-minute, mini-crises that could have been avoided if the employee making the odd, last-minute request had been more organized. The scope of the average administrative professional's job has changed in recent years. Now it may actually include trekking to five, different corner stores to track down a bottle of Scope mouthwash before the CEO's afternoon meeting to scope out the competition. OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals know exactly what's going on out there, because they recently asked more than 2,000 office administrative professionals in the United States (and Canada!) to reveal the weirdest tasks ever dropped in their…

Food Fight! How Restaurant Workers React To Rudeness

Before we send that lukewarm plate back to the kitchen, a new survey reveals exactly how stressed-out restaurant workers are getting back at rude customers! Yes, this workplace blogger took a few weeks off (okay, more than a few...) to rest, relax and refuel for Fall. Now it's September and I have to get my head back in the workplace blogging game. This process could take weeks, but everyone has to start somewhere, especially in this economy. How about with an intriguing, new survey that asked more than 400 food service employees (including hosts, servers, cashiers, bartenders and managers) how they react to very rude customers. Oh wow, this is going to be good! In a nutshell, having a server spit in our food appears to be among the least of our worries. Here are the various CWBs (Counterproductive Work Behaviors), courtesy of a Taylor and Francis Group press release, that could occur when restaurant customers aren't sugar and spice and everything nice:The actual CWBs foo…